with Chris Cruise

BLACK HISTORY MONTH SPOTLIGHT: 3 reasons Lionel Richie might just be the best American Idol judge yet.

Here's why.

Tonight, we salute LIONEL RICHIE for our Black History Month spotlight.  And, as we’ve watched Lionel evolve from one of the smoothest R&B singers, to the front man of the Commodores, to a smashing solo success, there are a few reasons we love him SO much in the role of American Idol judge.

  1. He’s like your BEST FRIEND’S DAD.  You know how your Dad wants to give you advice, but can sometimes be a little judgmental and try to tell you “this is the way it has to be?”  Lionel is just one notch lower than that.  Maybe it’s because he’s dealt with his daughter Nicole (and longtime BFF Paris Hilton) being a handful  – to put it lightly.  But maybe it’s just because he cares, while understanding that the contestant is going to make the decision that they ultimately think is right for them.  That’s what your Best Friend’s Dad would do – and that’s why Lionel is even BETTER than being YOUR DAD as a judge.
  2. He doesn’t take himself too seriously.  As much as he is accomplished, several contestants have come through not knowing of his time with the Commodores.  While he acts startled, he ends up just laughing it off.
  3. He REALLY knows music.  Like REALLY KNOWS it.  While we’re not saying that Katy Perry and Luke Bryan DON’T KNOW music, Lionel may be the most accomplished music brain at the judges table right now.   And when he gets deep into it, we all learn  something; the contestants and us viewers alike.

So, if you haven’t spent time with Lionel Richie on the judges panel, here are a few clips to get you caught up for the American Idol premiere on February 27th.  Watch it for the new talent you could discover, but more importantly, watch for LIONEL.



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